Hungry for victory - Sebastian Vettel Q&A 30 Jul 2011
It was a good afternoon for Sebastian Vettel in Budapest. After that not-so-happy race at the Nurburgring and a low-key performance in Fridays practice sessions, the world champion strode through the paddock after qualifying with a smile that clearly indicated that life is better at the very front of the grid. And those who know the young German and his determination are under no illusion that for him life is also best on the top spot of the podium
Q: Sebastian, how well is this pole position going down for you?
Sebastian Vettel: Obviously it always feels best when starting to race from P1, no doubt about that. And even more so after last weekend - and I dont mean the result itself, but more the taste that this race has left. Today I really felt great, the car felt great and Im really looking forward to changing that Nurburgring taste.
Q: After the rather difficult free practice sessions how surprised were you to find yourself on pole position?
SV: Ive been a bit surprised, yes. All Friday weve not been fast enough and really had a tough time. Then this morning it had improved substantially and from there we knew that we would be part of the game and had some ideas about a good position in qualifying. How strong we would definitely be, that of course is something that you never can predict. It was a very tight result. And it came as no big surprise that McLaren was very strong - or probably the surprise was that theyve been strong with both cars. Weve been able to pip them to P2 and P3, and that in the end was all that matters - paired with the knowing that everything works well again with the car.
Q: Not really going anywhere all Friday long and then on Saturday afternoon clocking pole position leaves one question: who has improved - car or driver?
SV: To be honest, both - because if you feel more comfortable in the car then you push much harder. I think that was the case today right from Q1 to Q3. You know, when the car feels almost one hundred percent the way you like it, then it is much easier to squeeze out some extra hundredths or tenths.
Q: Did you have any issues with KERS in Q2?
SV: No, not at all. But Ive heard that Mark (Webber) had some issues with it. Luckily for me everything was running like clockwork. (laughs)
Q: It was pretty windy today. Could wind be an issue in certain situations tomorrow in the race?
SV: It can. If youre hit by a squall from behind it can be possible that you lose the car - but shush, we should not tempt fate! Joking aside, we all have eyes to see the flags around the track and so we can judge the situation and act accordingly. Plus it was windy all weekend long so far, so we all had enough time to adjust to the situation.
Q: How difficult will the start be with the two McLarens breathing down your neck?
SV: I am looking forward - even if we do indeed have two rear-view mirrors! (laughs) But I have no illusions: it is a long and tough race and anything can happen. Like last year. But weve learned our lesson - and everything else well see.
Q: After two races without a win, is this pole position bringing back confidence?
SV: Ive never had any doubts. But if you dont feel one hundred percent comfortable thats not good either, because the first and foremost challenge is it to be at ease with yourself - and that is the case.
Q: Lewis Hamilton was able to save a set of fresh (super-soft) tyres. Could that have any consequences for the result?
SV: I dont think that this has a huge significance for tomorrows race. He was the only one who really did it, even though that was also on our mind for one moment but we then dismissed it. I think we are well positioned having tyres that all did a bit of track time.
Q: As there is no Austrian Grand Prix any more, Hungary is kind of adopted by the Austrians as their home race - and hence the home race of Red Bull Racing. As it didnt work out for you at your home Grand Prix last weekend, maybe it will work better tomorrow for the team
SV: Lets all be cool and wait to see what is happening tomorrow. Of course I saw many Red Bull flags - more than anywhere else - so this indicates that Austria must be just around the corner. We are starting from pole, so this cant get any better. Everything else we will see.
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